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Ex-UFC fighter Cody East accused of kneeing girlfriend in head, dragging her by hair

UFC 197 Weigh-ins
Cody East was arrested on domestic abuse charges last month.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A former UFC heavyweight is being accused of kneeing his girlfriend in the head, dragging her by the hair, and threatening to kill her 10-year-old son, per a police report obtained Tuesday by MMA Fighting.

Cody East, who was released by the UFC in October, was arrested Dec. 18 on three felony charges: aggravated battery against a household member (great bodily harm), aggravated assault against a household member, and false imprisonment. He has been released on $30,000 bond.

East’s girlfriend told Bernalillo County (N.M.) Sheriff deputies that she locked East out of their home after an argument that lasted all day because she feared he would hit her. East broke in through the window, cornered her in the bathroom, kicked her multiple time to both legs, kneed her in the head and slapped her in the chin, the alleged victim said. East also kicked a hole in the wall when he missed her, she said.

East then grabbed her by the hair and pulled her toward the front door, his girlfriend told police. He told her she was going to leave with him or he was going to kill her son, she said.

Police interviewed the alleged victim’s son and his account was consistent with her story, the report stated. The boy said he was in his room when he heard East say he was going to kill him and then ran to the back of the bedroom and hid in the closet until police arrived.

Before East could get into the bathroom, the alleged victim called 911 and Bernalillo County Sheriff officers responded to the scene. When they arrived, per the report, East and the alleged victim were in his truck leaving the home.

Police vehicles stopped the truck and observed East in the driver’s seat and the alleged victim in the passenger seat. The woman was “crying and seemed like she was in a physical struggle,” according to the account of officer Joshua Crawley. The alleged victim was also only wearing a tank top and underwear with a blanket covering her.

The couple’s next-door neighbor told police that after hearing banging and screaming in the home, she observed a male dragging a female out of the house by her arms “while she was screaming and resisting” and forced her into the truck.

East told cops that he and his girlfriend were just going out for coffee. He said he did not know why she was not wearing pants, socks or shoes. East said the two were in an argument and he broke back into the house after she locked him out, because it was his home. He said the hole in the bathroom wall was there before that day.

Per the report, East also told officers that he was unaware that his girlfriend was injured and if he “had punched her” deputies would know it.

“When confronted about lying to deputies Cody stated nothing had happened,” the report said.

The report also stated that the 911 operator said there was yelling in the background, the sign of a physical struggle with the caller screaming for help and a loud “bang” before the call was disconnected.

Bernalillo County District Attorney spokesperson Philip Sisneros told MMA Fighting that the case is “open and currently under review.” A decision will be made “soon in terms of proceeding with prosecution,” he said.

East, 28, was sentenced to three years in prison on child abuse charges in 2008. His probation was up in 2015. The New Mexico native was also arrested on domestic violence charges in 2006 and 2010, but prosecutors did not pursue those cases.

East (12-3) went 0-2 in the UFC and was cut after a second-round TKO loss to Curtis Blaydes on Oct. 1. His past rap sheet drew criticism to the UFC when the promotion signed him last year, but the UFC told Bloody Elbow that it “felt comfortable” signing East after an independent investigation

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